The global fandom for K-content is continuing to grow, with over 60 percent of all Netflix members watching Korean titles last year. Looking ahead at 2023, Netflix is debuting a diverse array of Korean TV series, films and unscripted shows, including eye-popping original productions alongside returning fan favorites, in their biggest-ever lineup of Korean films and series.
“The global popularity of K-content has continued apace over 2022, with Netflix bringing a wider variety of stories and genres to fans around the world. Over the last year, Korean series and films have regularly featured in our Global Top 10 list in more than 90 countries, and three of Netflix’s most-watched shows ever are from Korea. This year, we’re pushing the envelope even further with the stories we tell and how we tell them. With this lineup of Korean titles, Netflix will continue to be the ultimate destination for compelling, diverse and must-watch Korean storytelling,” said Don Kang, VP of Content (Korea).
Love to Hate You
Directed by: Kim Jeong-kwon
Written by: Choi Soo-young
Produced by: Binge Works
Starring: Kim Ok-vin, Yoo Teo, Kim Ji-hun, Go Won-hee
Release Date: February 10, 2023
Logline: Love to Hate You is a romantic comedy about a woman who really hates losing to men and a man who harbors a deep mistrust of women, experiencing a warlike love and finding themselves healed through the experience. Kim Ok-vin plays Yeo Mi-ran, a rookie lawyer at the entertainment law firm Gilmu who detests losing to men while Yoo Teo plays the character Nam Kang-ho, a Korean A-list actor who deeply mistrusts women. From the hostile first encounter of the two main characters, shaped by a misunderstanding and suspicion due to biases, to the journey of these two characters who do not believe in love coming to understand each other, audiences will find themselves immersed in their story. Anticipation runs high for the electrifying chemistry and fun, exciting romance that Love to Hate You promises to bring.
The Glory Part 2
Directed by: An Gil-ho
Written by: Kim Eun-sook
Produced by: Hwa&Dam Pictures, Studio Dragon
Starring: Song Hye-kyo, Lee Do-hyun, Lim Ji-yeon, Yeom Hye-ran, Park Sung-hoon, Jung Sung-il
Release Date: March 2023
Logline: The Glory is a Netflix series that tells the story of a woman broken by school violence, and who has dedicated her life to a meticulous web of vengeance and those who are entangled in her plot. The series was announced to much fanfare as the project brought together writer Kim Eun-sook of countless hits, director An Gil-ho, a master of genre series, and a star-studded cast led by Song Hye-kyo. Part 1 was highly praised for its dramatic developments and passionate performances by the cast, even ranking first in the Global Top 10 (Non-English) TV charts in the week of January 2, ramping up anticipation for Part 2. The Glory Part 2 is a beautiful, unrelenting portrayal of the destruction of the perpetrators of school violence led by Yeon-jin as they fall, one by one, into the trap designed by Dong-eun. The powerful message that elicits righteous fury, empathy, and solidarity, will leave audiences around the world with lasting emotional resonance.
Directed by: Kim Joo-hwan
Written by: Kim Joo-hwan
Produced by: STUDIO N
Co-produced by: Seed Film, Seven O Six
Based on: WEBTOON original series ‘Bloodhounds’ Created by Jeong Chan
Starring: Woo Do-hwan, Lee Sang-yi, Park Sung-woong, Heo Jun-ho
Logline: Bloodhounds is a story about two young people who step into the world of loan sharks in pursuit of money and get caught up in a web of much darker forces. After his perfect performance in a dual role in The King: Eternal Monarch, Woo Do-hwan returns as Geon-woo, who jumps into the world of loan sharks to pay off his debt. Having intrigued viewers with his multi-faceted charm in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, Lee Sang-yi plays Woo-jin, who first meets Geon-woo as his opponent in boxing but ends up working with him. Meanwhile, actor Park Sung-woong plays vicious loan shark Myung-gil, who is driven solely by money in everything that he does while Heo Jun-ho plays Mr. Choi, who was once considered a legend among loan sharks, but now helps out the sick by lending money with no interest, bringing gravitas with their on-screen presence. Based on a Naver webtoon of the same title, the series is directed and written by director Kim Joo-hwan of Midnight Runners, promising to showcase refreshing chemistry among the cast and uninhibited action.
Directed by: Kim Cheol-kyu
Written by: Kim Yi-young
Produced by: Studio Dragon
Co-produced by: KIMJONGHAK PRODUCTION Co., Ltd., HOW PICTURES
Starring: Park Gyu-young, Kang Min-hyuk, Lee Dong-gun, Jun Hyo-seong
Logline: Celebrity is a Netflix series that depicts the true reality of the glamorous and competitive life of celebrities encountered by Seo A-ri, who jumps into their world where fame will bring riches. The series is directed by Kim Cheol-kyu, who was nominated at the official competition of the first Cannes International Series Festival for Mother. Rising star Park Gyu-young from the Netflix series Sweet Home as well as The Devil Judge and Dali and the Cocky Prince plays Seo A-ri, who becomes a celebrity overnight with her bold moves that set her apart from all the other influencers. Kang Min-hyuk plays Han Jun-kyoung, the CEO of Korea’s leading cosmetic brand while Lee Chung-ah plays Yoon Si-hyeon, who has everything from elegance, class, and a reputable background. Through the story of A-ri, who threw herself into the life of a celebrity where the number of followers equals her competitive edge and the whirlwind of events that she brings those around her into, Celebrity will have viewers sending their “likes” for the series non-stop.
Directed by: Oh Jin-seok
Written by: Moon Ji-young
Produced by: INSIGHT FILM Co., Ltd.
Co-Produced by: Studio Focus x Co., Ltd., ASTORY Co., Ltd.
Starring: Kim Hee-ae, Moon So-ri, Ryu Soo-young, Seo Yi-sook
Logline: Queenmaker is a Netflix series that follows the story of Hwang Do-hee, a PR genius who used to oversee the Corporate Strategy Team in Eunsung Group, diving into an election campaign for human rights lawyer Oh Kyung-sook, nicknamed Ms. Rhino for having survived countless ups and downs, to get her elected as the mayor of Seoul. Kim Hee-ae, celebrated undoubtedly as one of the greatest actors in Korea for her powerful performances, plays PR genius Hwang Do-hee, while Moon So-ri, famed for her unparalleled presence through the diverse characters she has played, transforms herself into human rights lawyer Oh Kyung-sook in their historic first performance together in this Netflix series.
Directed by: Cho Ui-seok
Written by: Cho Ui-seok
Based on: Toomics webtoon ‘Delivery Knight’ (written by Lee Yoon-gyun)
Produced by: PROJECT318
Starring: Kim Woo-bin, Song Seung-heon, Kang You-seok, Esom
Logline: Set in 2071, where people depend on respirator masks to breathe due to extreme air pollution, Black Knight is a Netflix series that follows the legendary deliveryman “5-8” with extraordinary battle skills, as he encounters refugee Sa-wol, who dreams of following in his footsteps, as becoming a deliveryman is the only hope for refugees in this world. Based on a popular webtoon, the series depicts a world where only one percent of the human race has survived and strict social stratification has been established in the deserted lands of the Korean Peninsula, where deliverymen play critical roles in society that has stopped functioning properly. Actor Kim Woo-bin plays 5-8, a legendary deliveryman who is unmatched by anyone, while Song Seung-heon plays Ryu Seok, the sole heir to Chun-myung Group, which controls the world by capitalizing on oxygen. Sa-wol, a refugee boy who aspires to become a deliveryman himself and looks up to 5-8, is played by Kang You-seok, who has been broadening his spectrum as an actor through performances in Start-up and Once Again, bringing fresh energy to the series. The series is directed by Cho Ui-seok, famed for his tightly-knit stories, sophisticated cinematography, and cathartic action through his works including Master, Cold Eyes, and The World of Silence.
A Time Called You
Directed by: Kim Jin-won
Written by: Choi Hyo-bi
Produced by: npio entertainment Co., Ltd., LIAN CONTENTS Co., Ltd., Studio Flow, Inc.
Starring: Ahn Hyo-seop, Jeon Yeo-been, Kang Hoon
Logline: A Time Called You is a time-slip romance where Jun-hee, missing her boyfriend who passed away a year ago, goes back in time to 1998 to meet Si-heon, who looks identical to her boyfriend. The series made headlines instantly after its announcement as the remake of Someday or One Day, a classic Taiwanese romance. Having starred in Business Proposal, Still 17, and Dr. Romantic 2, Ahn Hyo-seop plays the double role of Jun-hee’s boyfriend Gu Yeon-jun and his look-alike Nam Si-heon from 1998. Jeon Yeo-been of the Netflix series Glitch and the Netflix film Night in Paradise as well as series such as Vincenzo returns as Han Jun-hee and Kwon Min-ju. Jeon Yeo-been plays two characters that look the same but have completely opposite personalities, delivering delicate performances. Kang Hoon, a rising star from The Red Sleeve and Little Women, plays Jung In-gyu, who struggles between friendship and love after finding out that his long-time crush Min-ju likes his best friend Si-heon, depicting the young, pure love of an 18-year-old boy.
Song of the Bandits
Directed by: Hwang Jun-hyuk
Written by: Han Jung-hoon
Produced by: Urban Works, Baram Pictures
Starring: Kim Nam-gil, Seo hyun, Yoo Jae-myung, Lee Hyun-wook, Lee Ho-jung
Logline: An action adventure set in the tumultuous period of Japanese colonial rule over Korea about a group of people who, for various reasons, end up in the lawless land of Gando and become united in protecting Joseon for the Korean people. Anticipation runs high for the intense drama that will unfold as different groups with their respective motives — including Japanese troops, the Korean Independence Army, hitmen, bandits, and Joseon migrants — face one another in the anarchic land of Gando during the 1920s. Writer Han Jung-hoon and director Hwang Jun-hyuk team up again for Song of the Bandits after having delivered spectacular, exhilarating action and drama with their previous projects, including Bad Guys: Vile City and Squad 38.
D.P. Season 2
Directed by: Han Jun-hee
Written by: Kim Bo-tong, Han Jun-hee
Based on: D.P. Dog Day (webtoon by Kim Bo-tong)
Produced by: Climax Studio
Starring: Jung Hae-in, Koo Kyo-hwan, Kim Sung-kyun, Son Suk-ku, Ji Jin-hee , Kim Ji-hyun
Logline: D.P. is a Netflix series that follows Jun-ho and Ho-yeol of the Deserter Pursuit unit in the Korean military as they encounter the realities unknown to them until they chase after the deserters with various backstories. The first season of D.P. was highly acclaimed for its social commentary and resonated with many audiences. The highly anticipated season 2 of D.P. brings together yet again director Han Jun-hee and the same main cast members from the first season, including Jung Hae-in and Koo Kyo-hwan, who respectively played An Jun-ho and Han Ho-yeol, the fantastic duo from the D.P. unit, Kim Sung-kyun, who played D.P. Unit Chief Park Beom-gu, and Son Suk-ku, who played Lieutenant Lim Ji-seop, bringing their teamwork and rock-solid chemistry back to the new season.
Directed by: Kim Yong-hoon
Written by: Kim Yong-hoon
Produced by: House of Impression, Bon Factory
Starring: Go Hyun-jung, Ahn Jae-hong, Yeom Hye-ran, Nana
Logline: Mask Girl is a story about Kim Mo-mi, an ordinary office worker by day who is insecure about her appearance and a live-streamer by night who covers up her face with a mask, as she becomes embroiled in an unforeseen incident and undergoes a dramatic turn of events. The original webtoon of the same title that the series is based on was beloved by many readers for its unpredictable twists, biting messages about lookism, and the effortless cross between thriller and black comedy. Actors Go Hyun-jung and Nana play the character Kim Mo-mi on different timelines while Ahn Jae-hong plays Kim Mo-mi’s colleague Ju Oh-nam, who has a crush on her, and Yeom Hye-ran plays Ju Oh-nam’s mother. Director Kim Yong-hoon, who drew the attention of the world with his feature debut Beasts Clawing at Straws, which won the Special Jury Award at the 49th International Film Festival Rotterdam, directs the series to deliver refreshing plot developments and a shocking story.
Directed by: Chung Dong-yoon
Written by: Kang Eun K
Produced by: STORY & PICTURES MEDIA
Co-produced by: kakao ENTERTAINMENT, Studio Dragon
Starring: Park Seo-jun, Han So-hee, Claudia Kim, Kim Hae-sook, Cho Han-cheul, Wi Ha-jun
Logline: A creature thriller set in the spring of 1945 — one of the darkest times in Korean history — about two young people struggling to survive as they face a monster born out of human greed. Korea’s top talents Park Seo-jun and Han So-hee team up for the first time through this series. Park Seo-jun of Itaewon Class and What is Wrong with Secretary Kim returns as Jang Tae-sang, the wealthiest man in Seoul and owner of the Golden Treasure Pawnshop. Han So-hee who has established a strong presence through Netflix series Nevertheless and My Name, transforms herself into Yoon Chae-ok, a sleuth infamous for her ability to track down anyone, even the dead. Writer Kang Eun K of Dr. Romantic & Director Chung Dong-yoon of Hot Stove League will spearhead this mega production.
Sweet Home Season 2
Directed by: Lee Eung-bok, Park So-hyun
Based on: Webtoon by Kim Kang-bi, Hwang Young-chan (Published on Naver Webtoon)
Produced by: Studio Dragon, STUDIO N
Starring: Song Kang, Lee Jin-uk, Lee Si-young, Ko Min-si, Park Gyu-young, Yoo Oh-seong, Oh Jung-se, Kim Mu-yeol, Jin-young etc.
Photos courtesy of: Netflix